Sever’s Disease – Children’s Heel Pain

Sever’s disease is the most common cause of heel pain in children aged 9 to 14. Sever’s disease results from stress placed on the growth plate of the heel bone. An excessive amount of running or other activities can cause inflammation around the growth plate, which results in pain. Rest, ice and orthotics and proper shoes are usually prescribed.


Depending on the condition, the cause of heel pain is diagnosed using a number of tests that may include:

  • X-rays.
  • Physical examination, including examination of joints and muscles of the foot and leg.


Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can include:

  • Arch supports (foot orthoses) to correctly support the feet.
  • Proper taping of the foot and heel
  • Rest from activities
  • Icing at the end of the day
  • A night splint worn at night.
  • Flexibility exercises and strengthening
  • Ultrasound therapy.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.

Prevention of Sever’s Disease

To reduce the risk of heel pain or sore heels from Sever’s Disease:

  • Only wear properly fitting shoes. A lace up shoe with a firm heel counter (see shoes page)
  • Stretch calf and foot before exercising or playing sports.
  • Properly taping the foot provides excellent protection and immediate pain relief.
  • Wear shoe inserts or an over-the-counter orthotic

If the problem persists, consult your foot doctor.